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Author Topic: Moratorium: No more sidewalk cafes  (Read 6379 times)
Bamboo World
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« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2016, 02:10:39 pm »


A wheelchair can get through everything in the Deco District. I checked it all out last week. Overreaching local government with other motives is the obvious case here.


I don't know the boundaries of the Deco District.  Does it include Ti Amo?  That's the only location I think might be a close call...

« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 03:52:06 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
Bamboo World
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« Reply #91 on: August 17, 2016, 02:19:10 pm »


A wheelchair can get through everything in the Deco District. I checked it all out last week. Overreaching local government with other motives is the obvious case here.


I'm not sure what the local motives are, but, in any case, the ADA is a federal civil rights law, so the City of Tulsa doesn't really need to get into it, other than cautioning about compliance.

After identifying about 370 blocks of public streets downtown, I have compiled a list of approximately twenty locations with private tables, chairs, and/or fencing on public sidewalks.  Not sure about Ti Amo yet, but I can't find any other location that's non-compliant with the ADA (in terms of a minimum width on an accessible route for wheelchair passage).

I could be wrong, of course, as I often am.  

« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 03:52:17 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
cannon_fodder
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« Reply #92 on: August 17, 2016, 03:14:46 pm »

I'm not sure what the local motives are, but, in any case, the ADA is a federal civil rights law, so the City of Tulsa doesn't really need to get into it, other than cautioning about compliance.

It is also a quality of life issue. While I have seen some ADA compliance issues that seem very arduous or even unfair (to the point a business owner says "not worth it"), keeping a sidewalk clear 36" wide seems to be good not only for people in wheelchairs, with walkers, strollers, large people, lovers holding hands or the visually impairment, but also simply to allow the free flow of people in both directions.

Even if the ADA doesn't come into play, seems logical to me.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #93 on: August 17, 2016, 04:36:12 pm »


It is also a quality of life issue. While I have seen some ADA compliance issues that seem very arduous or even unfair (to the point a business owner says "not worth it"), keeping a sidewalk clear 36" wide seems to be good not only for people in wheelchairs, with walkers, strollers, large people, lovers holding hands or the visually impairment, but also simply to allow the free flow of people in both directions.

Even if the ADA doesn't come into play, seems logical to me.


Again, thank you for your reply.  The ADA can and does come into play, but it requires a legal action, as I understand it.  36 inches is a bare minimum for passage of a single wheelchair.  There are a few exceptions down to 32 inches for very short distances.  At 200-foot intervals along a minimum 36-inch wide accessible route, a 60-inch wide spot is required for two wheelchairs to pass.

Really, the only reason I'm referring to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines is because Paul Zachary or someone in one of the follow-up reports to the moratorium story mentioned a concern about seating areas on public sidewalks downtown where a wheelchair can't get through.  I just don't know of any location without a minimum 36-inch wide passage, except for Ti Amo.  And the ADA dates back to Bush 41's administration -- not especially recent, in my opinion.  The City of Tulsa could have gotten concerned about the ADA and accessibility anytime during the past 26 years or so.  Why is it so important now?  Was someone denied access on a public sidewalk due to a sidewalk café?  If so, where?  A few minutes ago I walked by a crosswalk at 7th & Boulder with several large holes in it -- definitely non-compliant with ADA Accessibility Guidelines and definitely unsafe and uninviting.  It wasn't a sidewalk café.  It was a public crosswalk in a public street downtown.

A few minutes before I noticed the large holes in the crosswalk at 7th & Boulder, I saw a woman trip on the sidewalk on the 400 block of South Boston Avenue.  She stumbled, but didn't fall, and she had that dorky "I'm such a klutz" look on her face when I noticed a large hole in the sidewalk where she stumbled and said, "It's really not your fault," pointing to the hole.  That public sidewalk has a hole in it -- definitely not the woman's fault, definitely not compliant with ADA Accessibility Guidelines, and definitely unsafe and uninviting.  (She appeared to be a visitor to Tulsa, or not familiar with downtown, at least).  The woman was not harmed by a sidewalk café.  She tripped on a hole in a public sidewalk downtown.  

I walk downtown nearly every day, for miles.  Maybe I'm missing something, but in the "Moratorium" Tulsa World story about halting downtown sidewalk cafés, Jarrel Wade reported that Jim Twombly said the moratorium was due to the increasing misuse of rights of way.  That begs the questions: "What misuse?"  and "Where?"

In the same Tulsa World story about a moratorium halting downtown sidewalk cafés, Dawn Warrick was quoted as saying, "We really have to get a handle on this and make sure our public realm is as safe and inviting as possible.”  Dawn Warrick's quote begs more questions:  "We really have to get a handle on what, exactly?"  "Who is we?"  "How are downtown sidewalk cafés causing the public realm to be unsafe or uninviting?"

« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 04:51:26 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
Conan71
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« Reply #94 on: August 17, 2016, 06:35:05 pm »


Why is it so important now?  Was someone denied access on a public sidewalk due to a sidewalk café?  If so, where?  

Maybe Clay Bird’s tender little feelings got hurt having to step around some people slobbing down Mod’s gelato.  This administration understands dick about progressive development principles, walkability, or attractive uses of public space.

I do understand there has to be some order and process to allow commerce in or on a public space, otherwise you end up with panhandlers posing as street vendors or you have cafe or bar owners blocking sidewalks with their tables and chairs.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #95 on: August 17, 2016, 07:35:48 pm »



Maybe Clay Bird’s tender little feelings got hurt having to step around some people slobbing down Mod’s gelato.


Maybe.  I don't know.  But the correct spelling is "tender weedle feeweengs"...


This administration understands dick about progressive development principles, walkability, or attractive uses of public space.

I do understand there has to be some order and process to allow commerce in or on a public space, otherwise you end up with panhandlers posing as street vendors or you have  café or bar owners blocking sidewalks with their tables and chairs.


I mostly agree with you about the current administration (maybe not the "dick" part of it).

Here is the last paragraph of the Mayor's Office's news release:

Quote

The license agreement process is an effort to position the City for planned growth that represents the high expectations of the City in an effort to provide the kind of public space our citizens and visitors can enjoy, while also protecting and preserving the public realm for key functions such as walkability and the extension of public utilities.


Come on...

Perhaps things will change with G.T. Bynumm [sic].  I hope so.  We'll see...

And I agree with you about having some order and process in private use of public rights of way.  But the Tulsa World article wasn't about panhandlers posing as vendors, vendors posing as panhandlers, bars posing as sidewalks, or café owners posing as chairs.

The Tulsa World article was about the Mayor's Office issuing a moratorium on downtown licensing agreements, halting sidewalk cafés.  It was about Jim Twombly's hopes of what Jeff Speck might recommend -- maybe, possibly, somehow, sometime in the future.   

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« Reply #96 on: August 18, 2016, 01:30:00 pm »

It is also a quality of life issue. While I have seen some ADA compliance issues that seem very arduous or even unfair (to the point a business owner says "not worth it"), keeping a sidewalk clear 36" wide seems to be good not only for people in wheelchairs, with walkers, strollers, large people, lovers holding hands or the visually impairment, but also simply to allow the free flow of people in both directions.

Even if the ADA doesn't come into play, seems logical to me.

Completely agree.
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Conan71
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« Reply #97 on: August 18, 2016, 01:45:05 pm »

It is also a quality of life issue. While I have seen some ADA compliance issues that seem very arduous or even unfair (to the point a business owner says "not worth it"), keeping a sidewalk clear 36" wide seems to be good not only for people in wheelchairs, with walkers, strollers, large people, lovers holding hands or the visually impairment, but also simply to allow the free flow of people in both directions.

Even if the ADA doesn't come into play, seems logical to me.

Speaking of ADA, how does a business like Elote’ get away without doing an ADA bathroom update since those regs go back well before Elote’ was there. 

IIRC, Nelson’s Buffeteria was grandfathered when the ADA came about, but I thought a new tenancy would require updates.  Is that only in an ownership change?
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #98 on: August 18, 2016, 03:49:22 pm »


It is also a quality of life issue. While I have seen some ADA compliance issues that seem very arduous or even unfair (to the point a business owner says "not worth it"), keeping a sidewalk clear 36" wide seems to be good not only for people in wheelchairs, with walkers, strollers, large people, lovers holding hands or the visually impairment, but also simply to allow the free flow of people in both directions.

Even if the ADA doesn't come into play, seems logical to me.


The TGOV video of the August 11th, 2016 City Council Urban & Economic Development Committee meeting provides more explanation as to what the City is trying to do with licensing agreement policies.  For the moratorium discussion, see Agenda Item #17, which begins about 1 hour and 39 minutes into the recording.

Jarrel Wade's August 12th "City clarifying moratorium on license agreements for private use of public rights of way" Tulsa World article mentions that Paul Zachary "showed city councilors numerous examples from recent years where contractors built on public property without the proper licensing and then asked for forgiveness later. Other examples were from downtown properties that built into public property legally but then lack of a comprehensive policy caused unintended side effects."  The same August 12th Tulsa World article states that several of Paul Zachary's examples involved not enough room left on sidewalks for a wheelchair to pass.

The minutes of the August 11th Urban & Economic Development meeting state that a PowerPoint was presented, but I can't find any footage of the PowerPoint presentation in the video.  Perhaps it was off-screen for the TGOV video.

Anyway, Karen Gilbert begins the discussion by stating that she had been contacted by frustrated developers who had been told that there's a moratorium on licensing agreements with the City.  Dawn Warrick and Paul Zachary responded by explaining some of the issues that the City and developers are facing with the current licensing agreement policy.  According to Zachary, a developer had offered to pay for the use of a right of way, and Zachary felt that was beyond the scope of licensing and getting into the area of leasing.  Evidently, Mark Swiney was absent from the meeting.  To me, it sounded as though he has been the contact within the City's Legal department, working on the licensing agreement policy review.

Regarding ADA and access issues, there was some discussion about the narrowness of Tulsa's sidewalks, ramps built on public rights of way, doors swinging out over public sidewalks, and movable sidewalk café furniture blocking pathways on sidewalks (sometimes, if someone happens to pull a chair into a pathway).  Blake Ewing mentioned Tulsa's "ridiculously wide streets" and "ridiculously narrow sidewalks," and he expressed some hope that planning for wider sidewalks could happen soon.*

Regarding clearways on public sidewalks, Zachary told the councilors that the City likes to maintain at least eight feet around the BOK Center and ONEOK Field.**

Phil Lakin questioned the City Council's ability to revoke a license agreement at whim, with or without cause.  Lakin expressed concern about a business spending lots of money on sidewalk furniture, for example, at the risk of having the City suddenly revoke the business's license agreement.  Warrick replied that she could not think of any city that didn't have a revocability clause, as Tulsa does.***

Toward the end of the discussion, Gilbert once again mentioned the "moratorium" fallout, and Warrick replied that she thinks that the "moratorium" has been cleared up.  In my opinion, I suppose it has been cleared up, to a degree.  But it leaves me wondering why a moratorium was ever mentioned at all, and why there was a front page story published, specifically about a moratorium halting sidewalk cafés.  Either Jarrel Wade or someone else at the Tulsa World first used the word "moratorium" to describe what was going on, or someone else described it that way to Wade or his editor.  Someone started this "story" for some reason.  I'd like to know who, why, when, and how.  Both Gilbert and Ewing mentioned that the news of the moratorium generated some unhappy calls to their offices.

Also, I'm wondering about those examples Zachary reportedly showed to the councilors.  When did that happen?  

*There have been plans for wider sidewalks and narrower streets downtown, such as those on Boston I mentioned in a previous post in response to The Artist.  The plan on Boston, for about five years, was to narrow the street from fifty-six to forty feet and to widen the sidewalks from twelve to twenty feet.  Traffic studies supported widening the sidewalks and narrowing the street.  But Chris Bumgarner complained.  He didn't want the sidewalks to be twenty feet wide.  He wanted them to remain twelve feet wide.  Go down to Mod's or Decopolis and see who got his way, despite the plans, despite the traffic studies, and despite Downtown Tulsa Unlimited.

**Eight feet is less than the six-foot clearway recommended by the author of Walkable City in his Downtown Walkability Analysis report for Fort Lauderdale.  The authors of Suburban Nation state that a sidewalk twelve feet wide is ample enough for al fresco dining, but they don't mention a clearway width.  

***In my research into licensing agreements, I've discovered the same revocability clause in every instance.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 04:00:27 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
Conan71
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« Reply #99 on: August 18, 2016, 08:59:00 pm »

I'm trying to figure out why Karen Gilbert would have been getting calls.  D-5 is largely east Tulsa suburbia style development.
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« Reply #100 on: August 18, 2016, 08:59:05 pm »

Speaking of ADA, how does a business like Elote’ get away without doing an ADA bathroom update since those regs go back well before Elote’ was there. 

IIRC, Nelson’s Buffeteria was grandfathered when the ADA came about, but I thought a new tenancy would require updates.  Is that only in an ownership change?


Its only if you change usage or if you make "major" changes.  

It was frustrating with the old DECOPOLIS for we almost had to have a sprinkler system along with redoing the restrooms, adding a mop sink etc. because we changed usage.  The frustrating thing is it went from a restaurant to retail, aka went from a place that had things like flames, and hot stoves, food, etc. to selling trinkets and gifts yet we had to upgrade everything to be "safer" and more compliant than if we had stayed a place with open flames etc.

Fortunately before we had to shell out $40,000 plus for a sprinkler system (actually there just never would have been a DECOPOLIS) we dug through the rules and found an exception for being in a cement parking garage.
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« Reply #101 on: August 18, 2016, 09:01:39 pm »

Its only if you change usage or if you make "major" changes.  

It was frustrating with the old DECOPOLIS for we almost had to have a sprinkler system along with redoing the restrooms, adding a mop sink etc. because we changed usage.  The frustrating thing is it went from a restaurant to retail, aka went from a place that had things like flames, and hot stoves, food, etc. to selling trinkets and gifts yet we had to upgrade everything to be "safer" and more compliant than if we had stayed a place with open flames etc.

Fortunately before we had to shell out $40,000 plus for a sprinkler system (actually there just never would have been a DECOPOLIS) we dug through the rules and found an exception for being in a cement parking garage.

That old brick smoker pit in the back of your old location would have been a far greater fire hazard than a retail store.  I can't believe it never had to be sprinkled before.
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« Reply #102 on: August 18, 2016, 09:04:19 pm »

I think different than you do, here are the places I can think of with sidewalk areas:

Lassales
Ellote
Mods
Tovolo (sometimes)
Billy's
Trulas
Topeca
Enso (sometimes/used to have chairs out front)
Laffa
Hodges Bend
Boulder Grill (not on public right of way)
Naples Flatbread (not on public right of way)
Caz's (not on public right of way)
Mexicali (not on public right of way(not on public right of way)
Lucky's (on leased land, not really public right of way)


That's all I can think of.

Ya missed one that did it right....You figure it out....
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #103 on: August 18, 2016, 09:14:13 pm »



I'm trying to figure out why Karen Gilbert would have been getting calls.  D-5 is largely east Tulsa suburbia style development.


I think she said they were developers, but I can't get the video to play right now.  It's around timemark 01:39

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« Reply #104 on: August 19, 2016, 07:51:08 am »

Ya missed one that did it right....You figure it out....

You passed up a perfectly good opportunity to actually contribute.
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